The Legislative Yuan will continue its provisional session next week to deal with three non-controversial pieces of legislation on civil servant benefits, despite the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus’ decision to withdraw from the session. \nThe bills are proposed amendments to the Civil Service Employment Act (公務人員任用法), the Civil Servant Retirement Act (公務人員退休法) and the Civil Service Survivor Relief Act (公務人員撫卹法), according to officials from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus. \nThree other bills on the agenda — proposed amendments to the Disaster Prevention and Protection Act (災害防救法) and the National Health Insurance Act (全民健康保險法) and a draft law on farm village rejuvenation — will likely be shelved for further negotiations with the DPP, which has some issues with them, the KMT officials said. \nThe one-week session, scheduled to run through Wednesday next week, was set up mainly to review the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed in China on Tuesday last week. The ruling and opposition parties, however, disagreed over how the deal should be screened. \nThe KMT-dominated legislature decided on Thursday to skip a committee review and submit the ECFA directly for a second reading, amid clashes among KMT and DPP legislators. \nThe DPP caucus, which insisted that the ECFA be sent to committee for a line-item review, decided yesterday to withdraw from the remainder of session in protest. This means that the DPP will not attend any meetings or take part in inter-party negotiations during the period. \nAlso yesterday, Department of Health Minister Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良) called on the legislators to pass the proposed amendment to the National Health Insurance Act in the special session to facilitate the implementation of second-generation National Health Insurance (NHI) in 2012.
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group might have lost its right to distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 and the ability to fulfill a contract in Taiwan, civic groups Taiwan Citizen Front and the Economic Democracy Union said yesterday. In a radio interview on Feb. 17, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, said that last year, Taiwan was close to signing a contract to buy doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but that the deal was halted at the last moment, with some speculating that Chinese interference was to blame. On Monday last week, the center
A Tainan taxi driver is the Taiwanese with the longest name, after he last month changed it so that it now contains 25 characters, the Anping District Household Registration Office said. The 47-year-old man, formerly known as Huang Hsin-hsiang (黃鑫翔), applied for the name change on Feb. 26, in the hope that it would bring him good luck. His new name starts with Huang Da-lan (黃大嵐) and adds another 22 characters, meaning “Huang Da-lan is the blessed darling and sweetheart of the god of joy, god of wealth, god of misfortune, god of Earth and all the gods,” it said. With
Broadcasting Corp of China chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) yesterday said that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) “should not follow the Democratic Progressive Party’s [DPP] direction,” after KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) had said that China posed a threat to Taiwan. Chiang was quoted by Reuters as saying during an interview that China’s “one country, two systems” formula for an unification with Taiwan “has no market” in the nation. Chiang also described China as the major threat to Taiwan, Reuters reported. Jaw, who has expressed interest in running for KMT chairman this year and in the 2024 presidential election, wrote on Facebook that